It is often said that opposites attract. Perhaps it is a sweeping generalisation to infer that this always the case. Sometimes a person with apparent bohemian aspirations turns out to be bourgeois in his or her subconscious actions. It usually takes a protracted amount of time for the real deal to become clear.

Countercultural ways of living are usually attractive to youngsters – especially young adults. With the passing of time, many of them turn out to be very comfortable in suburban, genteel settings, looking like the good boys and girls their parents always wanted them to be.

Is this good or bad? Maybe it is simply the truth of the matter. Not everyone is cut out for life on the margins of their communities. Being marginalised is not as glamorous as it might seem on the surface.

When a leading jazz artist spoke in an interview about something called “attitude”, perhaps he was referring to a way of seeing things, based on being marginalised. It makes sense that some folks who have the luxury of access to trust funds and inheritances from wealthy relatives might regard that outsider’s viewpoint as exotic and desirable.

Curiosity about aspects of the human condition that we don’t have immediate access to is a healthy preoccupation. The world does need more empathy and understanding, to keep on moving forward.